Plain Talk - Prices

At Oxford we strive to bring you more savings in every basket or trolley. Offering great quality and unbeatable everyday value for all our shoppers is something we pride ourselves on and we constantly negotiate with our suppliers to keep our prices competitive and make your Oxford shop even more rewarding.  


Sometimes however, prices are affected by factors beyond our control and, while we try to keep any price increases as low as possible, they are sometimes unavoidable. What we will try to do going forward is communicate with you as to why these unexpected price increases occur.


Here are three products that you may have noticed are currently experiencing significant price increases in most major retailers – and the reasons why these prices are higher.


The price of everyone’s favourite morning ‘get up and go’ juice is soaring all over the world, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the effect of climate change brought unseasonal droughts and frost to Brazil, which produces 35% of the worlds Arabica coffee – this resulted in the lowest harvest in 12 years and situation is not likely to improve for the next 2 years either!


Secondly, 2021’s global supply chain issues and the unavailability of containers at the correct distribution hubs have severely impacted on the worldwide coffee trade.


Lastly, coffee tastes so darn good! The fact is global demand for coffee is soaring with a massive boom in the Asian market (particularly China) fuelling record prices given the decreased supply.


We sourcing quality coffee at the best prices we can, but it DOES seem that we all may have to fork out a little more for our favourite brew until global supply has stabilised.


Want to read more about why coffee prices are going up? Click here and here.

Tomatoes and Potatoes

You probably noticed the price of tomatoes and potatoes also going up in most stores, particularly over November and December when the market price (i.e. the price we, the store pay) of tomatoes rose by 21% and that of potatoes by 39% in one week.

Once again this was due to weather affecting supply of these locally grown product. Unseasonal heavy  rains in Limpopo (almost 4 times its 30-year average) affected the harvest of both crops, with the supply of tomatoes dropping by 19%  In fact, tomato volumes in the country’s 6 largest markets halved from 1800 pallets on 26 November to 928 pallets by 2 December.

The good news is that as other growing regions, like the Western Cape, enter their harvest season, the supply situation and prices should stabilise IF the weather conditions improve. In the meantime our Fruit & Veg team will continue to find you the best quality tomatoes and potatoes and course, we’ll pass any price savings straight back to you!

Want to know more about the ongoing supply issues with tomatoes and onions?  Click here and here.


2022 unfortunately looks like being a bit of a perfect storm for chicken prices, and here’s why.

Firstly, the chicken industry is intensely transport dependent to get it from farm to table – which means our current sky-high petrol price and weak Rand-Dollar exchange rate is going to continue to put prices under pressure.

In addition the transport and cold storage sector has been heavily impacted by lockdowns, the July civil unrest and the N3 blockade too, with many businesses closing down or operating with reduced fleets – which has made distribution even more expensive.

In addition, the effects of 2021s avian flu outbreak is still being felt as hatcheries and poultry farms attempt to replace the almost 8 million birds that had to be culled.

Also, the anti-dumping of poultry duties imposed by the  International Trade Administration Commission have been increased provisionally on poultry from Brazil by 265%, Ireland 158%, Poland 97%, Denmark 158% and Spain by 85%. These duties have been implemented with immediate effect and will stay in place until June 2022. This is great news for our local suppliers but prohibitive when it comes to sourcing international birds as a short term supply solution.

While the chicken price is likely to continue to fluctuate, we are confident that, working with our fantastic suppliers we can continue to bring you the quality chicken products you want at the best price available.

For more on chicken prices, click here.